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The CrossFit Open 21.2 for the Pregnant & Postpartum Athlete

On to week 2 of the CrossFit Open! Here is the workout:

For time:

10 dumbbell snatches

15 burpee box jump-overs

20 dumbbell snatches

15 burpee box jump-overs

30 dumbbell snatches

15 burpee box jump-overs

40 dumbbell snatches

15 burpee box jump-overs

50 dumbbell snatches

15 burpee box jump-overs

50-lb. dumbbell, 24-in. box

Time cap: 20 min.

Before diving into strategies for 21.2, I want to remind you of a few important things during this chapter:

  • Athlete brain is real, especially during a competitive time like the Open. The Open puts most athletes in a different mindset to allow them to push harder and faster than they normally would. Before going there, think about your current AND long term goals, way beyond pregnancy or trying to prove something early on postpartum.

  • Pregnancy is not forever, but postpartum is. Just because you can do something right now, it doesn't necessarily mean you should.

  • Pregnancy and postpartum is a really great time to hone in on your movement strategies, as well as to build and maintain a solid foundation for your core and pelvic floor. This is to help set you up as best as you can for long term health, strength, function, and performance.

  • This is not the most appropriate time to PR a workout or hit a new max.

  • Think about the risk vs. the reward of doing each movement and whether or not it will serve your long term goals.

Now, on to the workout for pregnant and postpartum athletes. Couplets like this can be really fun (and easy to remember what’s next-ha!), but just because it’s simple, don’t underestimate it!

This is a bit of a longer workout with HIGH volume, so finding a pace that you can manage throughout the 20 minutes will be important. Remember that you can rest if you need it and try to maintain a good breathing strategy through the movements.

This is just ONE option on how you can adjust this workout to fit what you need:

20 minute AMRAP (for quality)

10 alt. dumbbell hang snatches

15 squat + incline push-up + step up

20 alt. dumbbell hang snatches

15 squat + incline push-up + step up

30 alt. dumbbell hang snatches

15 squat + incline push-up + step up

40 alt. dumbbell hang snatches

15 squat + incline push-up + step up

50 alt. dumbbell hang snatches

15 squat + incline push-up + step up

Alternating dumbbell hang snatch: Breathe! You can try exhaling as you pull the dumbbell up and inhaling on the way down to maintain a steady breathing pattern (if that feels good for you).

*going overhead can put more pressure into the linea alba that is already vulnerable in this stage, so if you catch yourself flaring your rib cage up and arching your back excessively as you go overhead or you are feeling any pulling through your abdomen, dumbbell high pulls or dumbbell cleans are other options. You can also switch to single arm dumbbell snatches from the hang position so you don’t have to navigate the weight around your belly.

*Decrease the weight as needed.

*Although using a barbell or pvc pipe (like in the scaled version) may “feel” okay when pregnant, you have to move the bar around your growing belly resulting in a change to your bar path which is difficult to relearn later-read more about using a barbell in pregnancy HERE!

Squat + incline push-up + step up: Breathe with each movement. Adjust the box height as needed; if you are experiencing any symphysis pubis dysfunction, lower the the height or skip the step up portion.

*Due to the high impact and body positioning for burpees and jumps, they tend to put more pressure into the linea alba and the pelvic floor (e.g. coning of the abdomen, pain, leaking, and/or heaviness in the pelvic region).

Read more on burpees in pregnancy in THIS BLOG.

If you experience any of the following symptoms (even if just a little bit), it may be time to make an adjustment, switch to another exercise, or consult with your OB, pelvic floor physical therapist or coach:

  • Coning or doming along the midline of the abdomen

  • Pulling sensations in the abdomen

  • ANY amount of unintentional leaking (urine or feces)

  • Pelvic pain or pressure

  • Heaviness or a bulge feeling in the vagina

  • Pain during or after exercise (back, hips, pelvic, belly)

  • Fatigue, exhaustion, or excessive soreness-this is likely a sign you need to back off a bit

  • Spotting or bleeding

Other things to be mindful of (as they may not be the most appropriate during pregnancy and postpartum):

  • Holding your breath

  • Working to complete failure/exhaustion

These are ways you can learn to “listen to your body”.

Remember that this won’t be forever, just for now and it can really help set you up long term!

How each exercise should be adjusted for each individual is going to vary greatly based on their experiences, and it’s one way I help my clients navigate exercise during this chapter.

Being intentional about what is most appropriate for you and your body can help you maintain activity, without pain or symptoms, and help with recovery postpartum.

Want more info on how you can navigate symptoms, exercise, and your journey? Fill out THIS FORM to schedule a FREE call with me to discuss how you can get better guidance with exercise and managing symptoms in pregnancy!

Remember that this is for fun!! Enjoy the community atmosphere and if you don't feel like participating, don't!

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